Wifi or Ethernet cable for streaming?

That’s to keep support lower and really for the core. For endpoints wireless is perfectly fine, most of mine are wireless and dont drop a beat.

Well think recommendation would also apply to endpoints to avoid dropouts if have week network. But as said, as long as the unit is connected to the extender, there was never a dropout. Now whether I’m really hearing an improvement with it hardwired is up for debate, but all I can say is it sounds wonderful.

Funny is I got the Atom HE to stop tinkering and here I am playing around with cables again. I will not be buying expensive Ethernet cables or changing out the router. I’d rather just go back to wireless if I came to that.

I can’t say I heard a difference when I used my regular Atom on WiFi. Lifes just too short to even worry for me have far more important things to worry about than this stuff. I just play music and it does that.


Throwing my 5 pence in the pot, apart from my Roon Server, I’ve got my Atom in a cupboard with doors and a structural wall behind it (there’s even an upright piano the other side of that wall) and my NDX2 is in it’s own room with the rest of the system with both connected over WiFi.
I think the challenge when comparing wired to wireless connections is you usually won’t have the right tools to determine optimisation of the WiFi network relative to your own home and that of your neighbours potentially, whereas most properly constructed and terminated Ethernet cables will be relatively more consistant in behaviour and performance.
Both can be problematic if not setup
and configured correctly, it’s just more likely that problems will appear using WiFi mainly because the WiFi equipment used isn’t optimised for your needs.
In my home environment I have a total of 6 wired and Wireless backhauled Access Points which are all managed in realtime using a platform called HomeAssure to continuously optimise both the mesh and the client behaviour. I also have a seperate dedicated router and multiple switches linked over multimode fibre to provide a robust backbone to serve all my client devices both wired and wireless.
If you take time to setup the environment appropriately, there’s no reason WiFi should be any less capable than a wired Ethernet LAN.

So Qobuz over Chromecast is now stable with the Atom HE when using Ethernet. I could never get hires files to play without stuttering. I know this is for another thread, but actually find Chromecast to sound better than roon.

I have recently signed up to fibre to the door, i am looking forward to a gargantuan leap in sound quality. :wink:

Actually this reminds me, with my current low speed broadband, I must check to see if there is a buffer setting on my Picoreplayer app. as i noticed it pause briefly the other day when others were accessing youtube videos at the same time. Outrageous !

Not for me, it sounds too harsh to me and fatiguing.

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I’d be wondering what’s wrong with my Roon. I would expect minimal differences, if at all, although Chromecast has some issues at least with hires. Or you like the effect that it has, or there are other factors, like your head :wink:
Did you correct for loudness differences? (Is volume leveling or any other DSP enabled in Roon?)

When using Chromecast the stream is bit perfect and native upto 192kHz/24bit. The downside of Chromecast + Qobuz is that it’s not really designed to run at such high sample rates. The buffer sizes are far too small (hence prone to drop outs) and the Chromecast stack is very inefficient so uses nearly all the CPU time in the streamer. Not only is this bad for unit response times, but not also great for sound quality as the electric noise floor of the product increases as everything works harder.

From NDX2 Qobuz via Naim app or Qobuz app + Chromecast? - #18 by Stevesky

I notice it will only stream up to 96k but no dropout with Ethernet. Interesting that it should sound worse. Know roon sounds pretty close to Qobuz playing over the native Naim app. I’ll have to spend a little more time with Chromecast. Obviously it’s not as seamless as roon. I really only gave it a try since I was checking out Qobuz native app vs Roon as far as search engine. Qobuz wins in that regard.

96 will certainly be better, 192 has twice the data rate. And Ethernet helps, along with a good internet upstream connection. No dropouts is the most important thing :slight_smile:

Personally, I am always sceptical that my cloth ears can really detect the impact of the streamer doing more work and the electrical noise floor being higher.

However, given that it plays the same files whether you use Qobuz via Chromecast or via Roon, and Chromecast has the at least theoretical disadvantage as explained by Steve, Roon should at least not sound worse. (assuming same loudness etc)

Good to know. I’m a lifer roon member, so might be more to think about if wanted to drop roon if I wasn’t. I find the Naim implementation of Qobuz just useable but not great. Anyway, this is all off topic other than Chromecast works when hardwired.

Zero issues using Airplay2; the superb little Airport Express reliably sends jitter-free optical into my DAC & delivers CD-quality in either Tidal or from my ripped CDs.

Multiroom too !

Airport express / toslink is limited up to 48 khz/16 bit IIRC, so this is fine if you are OK with it.

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Yes, no problem… A/B testing reveals CD-quality… beyond that it’s purely academic.

Yes some of these digital methods get confusing.
However look at Roon and UPnP/DLNA being more or less equivalent in performance potential, as well as AirPlay and Chromecast being effectively equivalent.

Actually the little Airport Express provides a notoriously jittery signal via its Toslink SPDIF output … however your DAC should do it’s best at removing that jitter at the expense typically in creating some low level digital noise in doing so.

Typically the Airport Express also re samples the 44.1 rated data stream to 48 which in itself produces mathematical rounding errors to the data… typically providing a slight loss of fine presence or detail.

It’s certainly therefore technically or ‘academically’ NOT CD quality…


Does it auto upsample the input stream to 48/16? Good info, this is new to me. Anyway, even an Apple fanboy myself, I would never never never use the Airport Express as an input streamer. I tried it once 12 years ago for 15 mins, gave up, and never again.

I believe so… and in my experience it did… From memory I couldn’t find a way of it not doing that.

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Cc can do hires though, and Airplay can’t. And AFAIK with Cc the stream is fetched by the streamer and does not go through the app, but I may be wrong

I don’t know all the modes, but Chromecast can indeed cast the audio stream from the control point so at least can go through the amp in some modes. If you use Cast Connect… then Chromecast hands off the stream to the streamer/TV and in that mode doesn’t go the app.

I believe Airplay is the same, depending on setup can stream from the app, or instruct the client what to play, that is hand off the stream. Apple call it Handoff.